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tv   Erin Burnett Out Front  CNN  January 10, 2013 8:00pm-9:00pm PST

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the shop that wants to order it may be unable to get a loan for its inventory, therefore, the instrument never gets shipped. or the customer may find his money is now worth so little, he can't afford it. and if this drought in the revenue stream continues, pushing more businesses and more governments towards default on their debt, then there's a risk of the whole market drying up. so everyone knows each time a shipment arrives in europe like this one, unpredictable market forces here could undermine the value of those guitars and force layoffs back home. >> the last few years, just thinking about the economy in general, it's kind of a generalized fear. >> for now, they control what they can. >> if we do a better job when somebody's looking to buy a guitar, they'll look more to our stuff than the other stuff, over time. >> and they just hope economic waves from europe don't come
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crashing against american shores. tom forman, cnn, stevensville, maryland. that's it for us, thanks for watching. "erin burnett outfront starts now." "outfront" next, another school shooting. officials say a 16-year-old student entered a classroom with a shotgun and opened fire. plus, is estrogen the answer for obama or are more women more problems. and breaking news tonight, there is a flu epidemic in america, so why are hospitals overwhelmed, turning people away, and not prepared? let's go "outfront." good evening, everyone. i'm erin burnett. "outfront" tonight, a school shooting. officials say a 16-year-old student armed with a shotgun entered a high school classroom in rural california today and opened fire. they say one student he shot is in critical condition tonight. he shot at a second student, but missed. the 16-year-old shooter is in
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police custody at this hour. our kyung lah is outside taft high school in taft, california. it's about 120 miles northwest of los angeles, as you see there. and kyung, what more can you tell us about the shooter and the possible motive? >> reporter: well, what we know is that first, police say he absolutely targeted those two boys, the first one who he struck, the second one, who he missed. and what we are also learning, from multiple parents and students we've talked to here on the grounds of the high school, is that this was a very troubled boy, a boy who had a list of names, according to these parents and students, that he dubbed a hit list. people who he wanted to target, to kill. that's why the school kicked him out of school last year. but he was let back to school this year. here's what some parents and students told us. >> he had a hit list of who he wanted to kill and i guess, like last year, he didn't -- he wasn't in school.
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he got kicked out, because of it, i think. and people kept on trying to find out, and then he got back this year, and then i guess this happened. >> i don't know what the circumstances are to let him back in. you know, the criteria to let him back in, but my own opinion, i think, is a very serious case that, you know, i don't know what you do with a kid like that. i don't know where you put them, what you do with him, but the look on all these parent's faces, are shocked, 75% of them didn't know he was back in this school. >> reporter: we asked the school superintendent about this hit list. at this point, they said it's too early in the investigation, erin, to tell us anything more about it. >> so, kyung, what can you tell us about the gun that was used, the weapon, and whether it was legally purchased? >> reporter: we asked that specific question to police. they also say the same thing, this is too early in the investigation. they don't know anything about the gun at this point. >> did the school have any armed guards? >> reporter: they normally do, and that's what's really
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interesting here, erin, is that normally, there is a taft police officer who is on the grounds of the school every single day. but today, i mean, you can see, it's quite dark here, it's been raining, snowing, that officer was snowed in. he didn't make it here. and so there wasn't that armed guard presence here at the school. but it didn't really make a difference today, because what police are crediting for saving those other students in that classroom is the teacher. the teacher and the campus counselor, who was able to tell the student to put the gun down, and he listened to them. >> that's amazing to hear about yet another hero in these horrible situations. thanks to kyung lah for reporting on the ground. and this shooting comes nearly a month after the sandy hook elementary school shooting, immediately became political today. dianne feinstein, a democrat, who plans to introduce a bill banning assault weapons released a statement after the shooting today asking, "how many more shootings must there be in america before we come to the realization that guns and grievances do not belong together?"
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that came as vice president joe biden met with his gun violence task force today and members of the nra. and he talked about a key idea he thinks should pass. >> there is a surprising, so far, a surprising recurrence of suggestions that we have universal background checks. not just close the gun show loophole, but total, universal background checks, including private sales. >> john avalon is "outfront." john, let's just start off with these background checks. obviously, look, for whether a potential purchaser has a criminal record or history of mental illness. obviously, there's issues with both of those things and how they're defined. but on the background check concept overall, how could we not have that already? >> erin, we do have background checks. we've had them for 19 years. but what vice president biden said is key with regard to private sales. there's what's known as a private sales loophole in the current background check law,
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that accounts for around 40% of gun sales each year. that means licensed dealers can account for 60% ever of gun sales. people who purchase a weapon have to go through the background check. if they have a criminal record, history of severe mental illness, outstanding warrants, they'll catch them. but if 40% of those sales go through private dealers, and those private sales are not subject to background checks, and that is what would be closed by what joe biden's describing as a possibility of proposing a universal background check. >> i know that they tried to close some of those loopholes, or it was after the gabby giffords shooting, which at the time was, no one could imagine there could be anything worse. now there's newtown. people say, no one can imagine there will be anything worse. but if gabby giffords wasn't enough to change this, why would newtown be? >> well, that's the key question. and it's one to follow through. after gabby giffords' shooting two years ago, there was a bill put forward. it had 95 democratic co-sponsors and only one republican, and it effectively died on the vine. now the question is, where's the follow-through? will there be urgency?
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will there be bipartisan movement behind it. a poll put out by frank luntz found that 74% of nra members support a universal background check. so there may be some opportunities for common ground here. a lot of licensed gun dealers would like that loophole to be closed. but every compromise on this contentious issue is tough, erin. >> a quick follow, here, john, before we go. the vice president said that, yesterday, that president obama could use executive order to get some of these things done. does he need that to have universal background checks or to do something else that vice president biden said today they wanted to do, which was to ban those high-capacity magazines? >> reporter: that's what's fascinating. very much an about-face, erin. these two proposals that the vice president mentioned today could not be done through executive order, they have to be done through congress. somewhat of a different message coming out of the vice president today. these specific proposals would need to go through congress. >> thanks very much to john avalon.
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former white house deputy press secretary bill burton and co-fonder of priorities usa, a pro-obama super pac, joins me along with tim carney. bill, the vice president came out yesterday and said, we're going to use executive order if we need to. that really riled a lot of people up. executive order, you guys aren't going to get it done, we're going to do it. we just heard john avalon say, look, those ideas are popular, a lot of republicans agree with them, you can't do it by executive order. >> i think he's just talking about the possibility that there are some things that maybe you can do through executive order and it's part of the, you know, big menu of options that are out there. but the truth is, if there's going to be real reform, if there's going to be real restrictions, you have to do it through congress. otherwise, you know, what you do could end up getting gummed up in the courts, and it could have no effect at all. >> that's got to be frustrating, though, that every time they try, there's always loopholes put in. i guess loopholes aren't everything from the tax code on, but you pass these gun laws after horrific attacks, and yet, 40% of guns are still -- it's amazing.
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>> there's no doubt, kids are getting massacred out there and there needs to be some new restrictions. and i think what we're going to see is, you know, i think everybody does agree on the background checks. even when you poll nra members, they are for these universal background checks. but hopefully there'll be more besides that, banning assault weapons, banning these high-capacity magazine rounds. >> but that talks about how a lot of times these loopholes are not loopholes that are stuck in there, but it has to do with the problem in the project that a lot of democrats are trying to do. they think there are two different kinds of guns. guns that good law-abiding citizens use, and guns that are used in shootings. but a vast majority of guns that kill people in the united states are handguns. the same kind of gun that the regular american uses to protect his house. so you try to make a law that doesn't disarm law-abiding citizens, but does disarm criminals, that's an impossible task. there are not two different groups of guns. they are the same kinds of guns. >> yesterday, the department of justice said that 80% of the inmates who use guns in the
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crimes that put them in jail got them illegally -- legally. so we're not enforcing a lot of the laws. but, tim, let me ask you about what the nra said today. they released a statement after the meeting with joe biden saying, "we were disappointed with how little this meeting had to do with keeping our children safe and how much it had to do with an agenda to attack the second amendment." that doesn't sound like a very conciliatory, trying-to-work-together comment. >> and i don't think there is going to be a lot of common ground there. i happen to disagree with a lot of what the nra said when it came to putting armed guards or when it came to, you know, blaming hollywood, and that sort of thing. but on the idea of trying to stop bad gun laws, i think that what biden is talking about is more reasonable than what, say, dianne feinstein, is talking about, or bill mentioning an assault weapons ban. those laws didn't work. they were cracking down on things. i think there is middle ground, but if obama is staking out an extreme position of, i might do
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executive orders, the nra is staking out its extreme position of, we have no common ground yet, and perhaps there can be something in the middle that they're going to reach in terms of compromise. >> bill, let me ask you about something that i find confusing. the background checks here, and the background checks, i mean, 97% of republicans support background checks, right? let's just assume, most people out there support it. the truth is, though, they wouldn't have stopped the shooting in newtown. and the background checks, even though they check for mental health, you have to be institutionize -- institutionalized, the standards are very high. but the problem is, every time these shootings happen, it often seems, all the things we have in place and all the proposed things we have in place would not have stop them. >> i think what you have to look at is, you're right, that the background checks wouldn't have stopped what we saw happening in the last couple of shootings. but we have to do everything that we can. and while the background checks aren't the one and only answer, there are other things that you can do. that's why the president has taken a comprehensive view here, saying, what can we do about mental illness? what can we do about guns? what can we do about the background checks. and what is the broader, comprehensive way that we can approach this, so we can do every single thing we can to
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stop these massacres. >> would you ever, and i know this is a controversial question, but bob wright, who is a very big proponent of trying to fight for autism and autism awareness in this country, thinks that he doesn't think that autistic children shouldn't have guns, a lot of children shouldn't have guns. would you go so far as saying if anyone has a diagnosis of any sort of a range of things, shouldn't have a gun? >> i'm not a doctor and i can't speak to that, but there are certainly people who shouldn't have guns. and if there's a way we can figure out, how can we identify a group of folks who shouldn't have guns based on a mental illness or some severe reason, yes, that's something that should definitely be looked at. but this is a question that should be decided by medical professionals and someone who knows something about how the human mind works. >> go ahead, tim. >> it makes me very uneasy. i agree that there could be situations where we should say, this person should not be allowed to have a gun, but it makes me uneasy of putting politicians or bureaucrats in
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the position of ruling some people not allowed to have guns. in france, they're saying if you're too religious, that makes you mentally ill. so you don't want the government being able to choose who can have a gun. unless it's an extreme case of criminal history or extreme violent tendencies. >> you try to protect civil rights, and in this country, this comes with some level of horrific events. still to come, a bombshell revelation could affect the game of football forever. a new report offers a possible answer to what killed junior seau. and oscar nominations announced today. did hollywood directors leave the director of "zero dark thirty" out in the cold. at a dry cleaner, we replaced people with a machine. what? customers didn't like it. so why do banks do it? hello? hello?! if your bank doesn't let you talk to a real person 24/7,
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awesome!!! [ male announcer ] the spark business card from capital one. choose unlimited rewards with 2% cash back or double miles on every purchase, every day! what's in your wallet? our second story "outfront," football to blame. the national institutes of health says former nfl linebacker junior seau had a degenerative brain disease linked to multiple head traumas when he committed suicide last spring. seau is the latest professional football player to be linked to a disease known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or cte. the findings could mean more trouble for the nfl, which is facing lawsuits involving some 2,000 players, claiming the nfl deliberately hid the dangers of head trauma. >> cnn has now confirmed the death of nfl superstar junior seau. >> reporter: on the second day
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of may last year, junior seau texted his ex-wife and children, "i love you," pointed a gun at his chest, and pulled the trigger. friends and family were left devastated, searching for answers. >> i don't understand who would do this to my son, but i pray to god, please, take me! take me. leave my son! but it's too late! >> reporter: when they learned the 20-year nfl football veteran took his own life, the primary question became, why? close friend marcus wiley spoke to espn shortly after his death. >> we were there for you, man. like, we knew you was a superstar. we knew you were a super person. but come out and tell us that you needed us. >> reporter: seau's family say they never expected he was suffering from head trauma before his death, but as speculations surfaced about his history of concussions, the seaus decided to have researchers study his brain. they recently spoke out about it on abc. >> for us, we just wanted the
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truth. >> reporter: over his career, he made 12 pro bowls and was named to the nfl 1990s all-decade team. but as an nfl linebacker, every devastating and celebrated hit he delivered was apparently taking a toll. the national institutes of health now says seau's brain shows he had a degenerative brain disease called chronic traumatic encephalopathy, which has been widely connected to athletes who have taken multiple blows to the head. for the seaus, it raises the question, is the game of football worth it? >> i think it's a gamble. just be extremely aware of what could potentially happen to your life. >> there's a big risk. >> there's a huge risk. >> it's not worth it, for me to not have a dad. >> in a statement we just received, the seau family says, "while the nih's findings have provided a measure of comfort, we remain heartbroken that junior is no longer with us and are deeply saddened to receive confirmation that he suffered from such a debilitating condition.
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junior was a loving father, teammate, and committed member of his community. that is how we will always remember him." "outfront" tonight, coy wilder. you have suffered multiple concussions, and several times you were seeing stars and went back out on the field. what was your reaction today when you heard that junior seau suffered from cte, which he got from football? >> i think a lot of former players were expecting that, erin. it's sad. and i think the main thing is that we can't allow junior seau, dave duerson, even high school athletes like jaquan waller, who have died because of head injury, we can't allow them to die in vain. we have to take what we have learned from them and continue to evolve with safety issues and equipment evolution as well. >> coy, we see from the nfl ads
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talking about how they're increasing safety. how they have better and stronger helmets to protect players than they've ever had before. how they're putting money in to study these kind of things. is that enough? it's a game where how hard you hit seems to be rewarded the most. >> well, it's a great point, erin. there are three things. one, the main thing is, education. especially to our youth, we have to educate them about what a concussion is. we don't have to be unconscious. less than 10% of concussions result in unconsciousness. so what the symptoms are. and then, two, when they have a concussion, know that it's okay not to play. if you don't feel complete, don't compete. if you don't feel right in the head, rest instead. i think that's the message that our youth needs to hear. that it's okay, that toughness is like a badge of honor, so it's understandable that they want to continue to play. but when it comes to the brain trauma, it's a completely different issue. >> right, you can replace a kneecap and move on, but you cannot do that with a brain.
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i want to add into the conversation. paul callan, our legal analyst, and david epstein. how significant are these findings when it comes to the nfl? there are 2,000 players who now have lawsuits against the nfl? is this something that could be do or die for the league? >> i think everybody sort of expected to see cte in junior seau. i think we sort of know that story, when somebody's played in the nfl for a long time, they're going to have cte. the thing is, they're not all committing suicide. in fact, nfl players commit suicide at a lower rate than their age-matched piers. so it's not just taking hits to the head, and it can't be just concussions. there's a lot that's still unknown here. >> a very interesting point. that the suicide rate is less than general population. i wasn't aware of that. it's a key point, paul callan, when it comes to the question, which is, is this going to be a c-change moment. a tipping point moment for the nfl, where the rules change. >> i think it may be a tipping point moment. here you have a beloved player, 20 years in the nfl, committing suicide.
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and you see now claims that large numbers of nfl players have brain injuries, serious brain injuries. you know, people thought you could never prevail against the tobacco companies. i mean, people voluntarily smoke. and those cases, by the way, repeatedly were brought and lost in court. but a tipping point came. a case was won. and ultimately, the tobacco companies ended up paying over $200 billion in settlements over the life of the settlement. so i think you may have a tipping point here, where this case has to be taken seriously. >> so let me just throw up the numbers here. because big tobacco, as so many of our viewers are aware, is still paying money out, and preventing a lot of states from further financial duress. nfl revenues last year, $9.5 billion. the average team value is about $1 billion. $30 billion in tv deals, paul. so how much could this cost them? i mean, it seems like they have plenty, but do they? >> well, i'll compare it to what happens in court now. brain damaged baby cases are the
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most expensive cases, $20 million per baby, they can go in places like new york and the bigger states. a case like this, where you're dealing with an adult football player, you might be talking in the range of $5 million to $10 million, if you had a provable brain injury that you could link to playing football, playing professional football. so you run the numbers out on that, it's $10 billion to $20 billion in settlements, if all 2,000 players, who have currently gotten involved in the litigation, won. so we're talking big numbers. >> and there could be more that would come out, and i'm certain in that kind of a situation, there probably would be. coy, let me ask you this, lacking back, given that you don't know what could happen to you, and the fear is, the brain damage that some of these people have suffered from have taken away their memory and their personality and taken away their soul. would you still play and would you allow a boy, if you ever have one, to play? >> if i'm blessed to have children some day, erin, the thing that i'm going to do is support them in whatever their passion will be, but they will understand that playing contact sports, whether it's football or
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soccer, where head injuries are dominant and -- they'll know what a concussion is. and that it's okay to sit out. that's the main thing. and with this lawsuit, and all the money that may go out, i think we need to focus on having that money go towards our youth and re-education and continued safety regulations, rule regulations, and making sure that every high school has an athletic trainer. less than half of the high schools in america don't have a certified athletic trainer who can sit there and pinpoint and diagnose these kids when they have brain trauma. and that's why a lot of them continue to play. so i think that's a main issue too, erin. >> all right. thanks very much, to all of you. we appreciate. i just want to read a statement before we go here, that i got from the nfl. we have it here? the finding underscores the recognized need for additional research to accelerate a fuller understanding of cte. the nfl, both directly and in partnership with the nih, the cdc, and other leading organizations is committed to supporting a wide range of
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independent medical and scientific research that will both address cte and promote the long-term health and safety of athletes at all levels. major league baseball announced today that starting this year, it's going to test players' blood for human growth hormone, called hgh, during the season. that's going to become the first american sport to do so. it's a significant tipping point. it comes a day after the announcement that for the first time since 1996, no one is getting inducted into the baseball hall of fame. "and the inductees are" -- and the page was empty. the three most well-known players up for induction, sammy sosa, roger clemens, barry bonds, have all been accused of using steroids. will these players eventually get into the hall of flame or not? here's the thing. there's a significant chance this year's snubs will never get enough votes, which could be a
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painful thing, given that it appears that they had total hall of fame careers, before any steroid use, even if it happened, was ever even begun. "outfront" next, late today, it was official, there is a flu epidemic across america. and the coolest thing we saw today, and what might actually replace, although i'm still going to get one more of these, my beloved.
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welcome back to the second half of "outfront." we start with stories we care about, where we focus on
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reporting from the front line, and we begin with an "outfront" update to a story we've been following. the army investigating another case of abuse at an army day care center in ft. meyer, virginia. the army, according to a spokesman, was notified yesterday that a child care worker allegedly slapped a child. the incident was reported by another caregiver in the room. the alleged perpetrator has been removed from the center. last month, we reported that two former caregivers at the same day care center has been charged with assaulting children and 30 other child care workers had been taken off the job after background checks found criminal records, including sexual assault and drug use. islamist rebels have taken control of the town of kona in mali, forcing the malian army to flee. this town is key, because it's the closest base that the malian military had to the occupied region. rudy aatalla of white mountain research tells us that the islamist involved in the march are members whose goal is to spread strict sharia law throughout the entire country of mali. google chairman eric schmidt
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is back from a controversial trip to north korea. the state department objected to the mission, but in a statement to "outfront," schmidt saz north korea's decision to be virtually isolated would make it difficult to catch up economically. he says if north korea doesn't open up the internet to people, they will remain behind. he told me a year ago, his passion in life was to see north korea and that has been fulfilled. apple hasn't gone to the consumer electronics show since 1992, but it still dominates the geek fest. 500 are showing off products related to apple. here's a gadget that could make apple's ceo, tim cook, blush. this is amazing. just watch this. okay? look at that! that's a display from samsung that can flex and bend without breaking. i don't know. i just though that was amazing. they call it the yume, and they say it could be used in phones and tablets one day.
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he says the technology is unlikely to appear in a device as soon as this year, samsung just wanted to show off what it could do. certainly impressed me. it's been 525 days since the u.s. lost its top credit rating. what are we doing to get it back? leon panetta has ordered departments to start cutting costs, in case they don't reach a deal on spending. probably a pretty smart move from the defense secretary. now our third story "outfront." breaking news. the center for disease control has just told cnn that the flu is now at epidemic levels in the united states. right now, widespread, in 41 states. here's the latest map from the centers of disease control. all that red is high flu activity. now i'm going to flip it to show you the same time last year, green, minimal activity. i mean, a totally different picture. this year's flu season came sooner than expected and already, obviously, significantly more severe. so far, the cdc says there have been 2,257 hospitalizations and 18 children have died.
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there has been no nationwide tally yet on adult deaths, but minnesota officials say there's 27 in their state alone, 22 in south carolina, 13 in indiana, 7 in arkansas, and 6 in illinois. ted rowlands has this report from chicago. >> no nausea at this point. >> reporter: debora cross started feeling sick on monday. three days later, she ended up in the emergency room at cook county hospital in chicago, where it was so busy, she had to wait four hours to be seen. >> to be safe, come here, make sure everything was okay. >> reporter: several hospitals in chicago this week were forced to reject patients for several hours because of so many flu cases. on monday, 11 different hospitals in the chicago area couldn't handle anymore patients. non life-threatening cases had to go to other hospitals, like cook county, which never turns patients away. >> so the analysts are going to go to whatever the closest hospitals are, but then they start getting overloaded, and then they go on too. and it's just a domino effect.
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>> reporter: across the country, thousands of people are suffering and resources in some areas are being stretched to their limits. tents are being used in allentown, pennsylvania, to handle the extra patients. in boston, a state of emergency has been declared. >> and what we are hearing from clinicians all over the state is that the strains of flu that people are presenting with is quite severe, and we're seeing rates of hospitalization higher, certainly higher than the last two years. and enough to give us all concern. >> reporter: dozens of deaths are also being blamed on the virus. 14-year-old carlie christianson died in minnesota and 17-year-old mack swholert, a healthy high school senior died after coming down with the flu while on christmas vacation with his family in wisconsin. >> he looked at me, and there were some tears rolling down his face -- >> he was scared. >> he was scared. he said, mom, i'm scared. i said, i know, buddy, i am too. >> medical experts say the vast majority of people recover after a few days of misery. >> just tylenol.
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you can do that every four hours. motrin after six hours. >> reporter: after a few hours on an iv, debora was sent home to recover, opening up a bed for the next patient. ted rowlands, cnn, chicago. >> dr. ian lipkin is an epidemiologist and behind the movie "contagion." randle larson is a bioterror expert. thanks to both of you. dr. lipkin, looking at the map, you see this as an epidemic around the country. and then there was ted rowlands reporting on tents they're using in allentown, pennsylvania. hospitals in chicago not ready. that is pretty frightening. most people don't expect in the united states, even in a flu epidemic, our hospitals are just not going to be ready, and going to have to put people in tents. it's something you expect in other parts of the world. how does this happen? >> it is frightening. this is the worst flu season we've had in ten years. and we don't really know how bad it's going to be. in new york alone, for example, we are already well ahead of where we were last year. and we're projected to go much higher.
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as you say, the flu season started earlier and it may run longer. now, we are ill-prepared for this. we don't have the negative pressure rooms, which are required to isolate people. we frankly don't have enough vaccine. we have 135 million doses of vaccine, and we have almost twice as many people in the united states. so -- but the short answer is, we really don't know what's different this year. why we have more flu. >> and that's what's sort of frightening. you served as adviser on the film "contagion," in that scenario, an outbreak quickly spreads around the world and it's frightening and millions of people can die. how prepared is america to deal a real pandemic. looking at what we just saw on that piece and looking at what we're seeing now, especially given all the threats from terror that this country has faced, it's pretty shocking. it doesn't seem like we're ready. >> the good news is that we have newer, faster, better ways of making vaccines now than we had a few years ago.
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so we can produce vaccines and we can get them out, where they can actually protect people. we also have no evidence that these flu strains that are circulating this year are going to be resistant to the drugs that we have. so, in fact, if we can get to people, you know, within an appropriate period of time, we can actually have an impact. >> there's a couple of positive things. but colonel larson, you worked with former senators bob graham and jim tallon at the bipartisan wmd research center, and you issued a bioterrorism report card, just where the united states is, are we ready? and after 9/11, it was a big priority for this country to be ready. and here's what it looked like. there were no as and there were a lot of ds and a lot of fs. and your conclusion was, the united states is unprepared to respond to a global outbreak of a deadly virus, for which we have no medical countermeasures. we have spent $60 billion on this country on biodefense since september 11th. how come we are not ready? >> i would say it was closer to $80 billion. and we're not ready for that really bad one on the right side
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of your chart. we're not ready for just a smaller attack with anthrax. and my concern is, since 2008, we've been going downhill. erin, we've laid off 40,000 public health workers at the state and local level. we've cut their funding back 39%. we are not prepared, and we've -- we're not prepared right now for flu, but we've had nine months warning we were going to have this flu. i don't know how bad it was going, but we were going to have lots of warning. if we have a bioterrorism attack, we were going to have no warning. so i'm very concerned about that. and the main problem is, it's not a high priority. we're spending $800 billion on the department of defense and $3 billion on biodefense. and i think the biggest threat to your family is infectious disease, not russian missiles or terrorist bombs. we know we're going to have to deal with infectious disease, both naturally occurring and possibly from bioterrorists. we better get prepared. >> and, when you say naturally occurring, i know in your view that is the biggest threat that there is. when you talk about potential
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bioterror, what form do you think it will take? the form of some sort of contagious disease, something like a flu that they unleash on a plane, or something different? >> i think the most likely is naturally occurring, because we have it every year. but the most troubling is from a thinking enemy, who would consider what our defenses are, and how to confound our responses. so i'm worried about something like anthrax, probably, the most. it's the easiest to do, very deadly, and also, very difficult to clean up. how do you think new york would be for a year without a subway system? >> so, dr. lipkin, what do we do? how do we fix this? >> i have to agree with colonel larson, i am concerned about emerging infectious diseases. i don't think i am as concerned about them being weaponized as i am about them naturally occurring. because they do come up from time to time and how do we deal with them. the good news is that the science is excellent. the problem has been that we don't have the ability to implement. we don't have the ability, as colonel larson says, to do
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surveillance, which is required for public health, the public health infrastructure has, in fact, decayed over the past decade, and that is a problem and that is something we need to beef up. this was a large committee called the national bioresponse advisory subcommittee that made a report to the commissioner of the fda and director of the cdc to the white house about what was needed in the way of education and improved pipeline for drugs and such. and we're optimistic that things are going to move in the right direction. >> all right. >> but we do need funds for research. and research is under siege in the united states at present. >> we need funds for that, and at least looks like there's a blueprint, if they were going to act, there's something there. thanks very much to both of you. we appreciate your time. and next, a man says, women can't fix washington. and our feel-good story of the day, willy is free. personalized informationre,t and rewards for addressing my health risks. but she's still going to give me a heart attack. that's health in numbers. unitedhealthcare.
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our fourth story "outfront," estrogen is the answer, or not. lately, we have heard a lot of talk along the lines of this. >> you know, we're less on testosterone. we don't have that need to always be confrontational. >> i said, mr. president, if you want to see bipartisanship in washington, invite the women senators to help you get it done. >> all smiling and getting along. all right, with a record 98 women in the new congress, we're going to have less gridlock, right? they're going to work together. they would deal with the fiscal cliff. not so fast, as conservative commentator for salem radio, michael medved, who is "outfront" to find.
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michael, really enjoyed reading your article today which appeared on the daily beast. and let me quote to our viewers from what you wrote. you wrote, some female politicians have won praise for their heroic leadership in times of danger and discord, like britain's margaret thatcher or israel's golda meer. other women have led major governments became notorious for ferocious, uncompromising often disastrously willful leadership. i just had to get it, when you said estrogen is the answer, i had to get, i thought it was so funny. do you think having all these women in congress is going to make a difference? >> no. look, having all these democrats in congress is probably going to make a difference, but not all women are democrats, and not all democrats are women. look, the question here is, we have an example closer to home, other than golda meir and margaret thatcher and kristina kirchner.
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the example is nancy pelosi. the most high-ranking woman in american history. she ran the house of representatives and she never worked across the aisle. she couldn't win a single gop vote, not even one, for either the health care reform, the obama care, or for the stimulus package. how is that collaborative cooperative, let's all work together, kumbaya leadership. it isn't? >> to use other words from michael's article, nancy pelosi fits perhaps, these words a little bit more, fierce and formidable, which are also compliments, just not ones that you often hear with women. everyone's supposed to be so nice and touchy-feely. >> absolutely. and i'm going to have to agree to disagree with mike on this one. in fact, i actually -- putting women's, you know, diversity issues aside and collaboration, there are actual substantive differences of having women in power. we see this across the boards in study. we see in terms of decision making, in terms of having diversity of thought, and we also see this across having more women on corporate boards, and
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in terms on investment and in terms of making women's issues a priority, both domestically and globally. it not only shifts the agenda, it shifts how decisions are made in washington. >> michael? >> okay, where has this ever worked in american political history? some of the most contentious, some of the most polarizing figures in the history of the u.s. congress have been females. when i worked in congress briefly, worked at a congressional staff, i was very close to the office of a woman named bella abso, who was known for throwing tantrums, for smashes things, for verbally abusing her own staff and colleagues. she was known as battling bella. there are some women who were cooperative and collaborative. mary landrieu has a good reputation in that regard, kelly ayotte from new hampshire works well and plays well with others. and there are other women who are impossible. just like there are some men who are nice guys and reasonable and
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other men who are out to lunch. saying that women can do it better because they're female and they have female plumbing is every bit as stupid as saying men can do it better because they have male plumbing. >> well, michael, it's not a party of better or worse. no one's here to say that all women are one way or all men are another way. it's about lacking at the studies. and the studies show when you look at development overseas and you look at research on these topics, actually, societies where there's more investment in girl's education, and where there's more investment, economic investment in women, and there's more women in power, you see that this not only has a difference in terms of economic opportunities in those countries, you see that there's a difference in how conflict prone these nations are. you see there's a difference in terms of the agendas where you have more women in leadership. so it's not just a personal difference or a diversity of photo op, like we saw in obama's, you know, oval office shot the other day. >> or lack thereof. >> or lack thereof. this is about real differences. >> final word, michael. >> here's where we can agree. look, you're talking right now about fairness and about equal treatment.
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and about investing the same kind of resources in our girls that we do in our boys. and as a father of two daughters, i believe in that, very, very much. but right now, let's face the facts in america. 60% of all college graduates today are female. women are beating the heck out of men in virtually every field of endeavor. >> and you don't see them represented -- exactly, they're beating the heck when you see them in the academic programs and see them in these professions at lower levels and don't see them represented in the same proportions at the top. >> i'm going to hit pause there. michael, i want to have you back. i want to talk about whether you think we need affirmative action for, you know, those poor, aggrieved white males. all right, thanks to both of you. we appreciate it. let us know what you think. please check out michael's column on the daily beast, more women in congress doesn't mean less gridlock in washington, is estrogen the answer? still to come, did the director of "zero dark thirty" ever have a chance? and we have a killer story
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our fifth story "outfront," oscar shocker. no best director nod for "zero dark thirty's" kathryn bigelow. her tlim thriller was considered a shoe-in among critics. the movie has been a target of criticism from washington lawmakers. did politics doom her nomination? "outfront" tonight, sharon waxman, editor of, which cover the entertainment industry. also a former "new york times" movie critic. john mccain talked about "zero dark thirty." he was saying, look, this movie makes you think waterboarding
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and torture is how we got the information that led us to osama bin laden. that's not the case, the movie is inaccurate. do you think the academy's perception of politics and the truth of the movie played a role in why she didn't get the nod? >> let's first point out that the movie did get a best picture nomination and a best screenplay nomination and other nods, but i would tend to agree with you that the fact that kathryn bigelow, the director of the movie and one of the producers behind it wasn't recognized this morning does suggest that the controversy around the film did hurt it, yes, i think so. >> you point out the film itself got nominations. was it perhaps more personal, at her? as opposed to political? >> i don't think it's personal at her, although you can't disassociate the film from the director. i think that is some kind of clear signal. jessica chastain, who we interviewed today, who was the star of the film and was nominated for her performance as a cia agent who was obsessively
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pursuing bin laden. she said it was bittersweet for her because she wouldn't have gotten the nomination without kathryn bigelow. it does start with a director like her. certainly, i think she's going to be feeling it personally. there were accusations there that were quite serious, that they were misusing the facts, that they had undue access at the cia. there were a number of things. >> now, you talk about the portrayal of the truth. here is kathryn bigelow last night before she knew what was going to happen on "david letterman" talking about that issue. >> a moment like when she's drawing the numbers on the window, that's a very specific moment that really happened. now, the reactions and the dialogue surrounding that, that's scripted. that's where drama comes in and the art of cinema comes in. you see the kind of fusion between fact and drama. >> she doesn't pretend that everything is fact. >> well, it would be absurd to think it's a documentary presented as drama. you just can't do that. and i want to point out that
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this notion of movies that are in contention for the oscars coming up, based on history, coming under scrutiny, this is something that happens very frequently and sometimes it's used in the battle for films vying for an oscar win. in this case, she's going straight headlong into one of the most sensitive topics in modern american political history, which is the issue of torture. how we found osama bin laden and what role torture played, she's taking on a sensitive topic. it's not a big surprise that washington reacted. >> thanks so much to you, sharon. next, a miraculous whale of a tale. l, i didn't really. see, i figured low testosterone would decrease my sex drive... but when i started losing energy and became moody... that's when i had an honest conversation with my doctor. we discussed all the symptoms... then he gave me some blood tests. showed it was low t. that's it. it was a number -- not just me. [ male announcer ] today, men with low t have androgel 1.62% (testosterone gel).
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